I am indebted to Chris Elleraas who inspired this conversation.
That one adverb "really" which suffixes
for this essay (see "... who you might be really" above)
is a spark capable of igniting pages and pages, volumes and volumes,
and tomes and tomes of debate, argument, satsang, and
discussion. The mere addition of that one adverb challenges the
essential yet basic, simplistic (implying "without
questions "Who are you?" and "Who might you be?" by ratcheting up the
ante. They're now not merely "Who are you?" but "Who are you
really?", and now not merely "Who might you be?" but "Who might
you be really?" - not as conjecture, not as speculation,
not as a wild shot ... but ... really.
The very question is strangely daunting, disconcerting. It's strange in
the sense that whomever we are really, is clearly in play every
single moment of our lives. Yet we hardly ever ask the question. We
live taking who we are for granted, the terrible upshot of which is we
also live taking our entire lives for granted. I say that's strange.
Let's zero in on one possible answer to this question - not
the answer, just one of many possible answers to "Who am I
really?". But more than that, let's zero in on what this
one possible answer points to (that's right: consider that
one possible answer to this question isn't its answer: it's a pointer
to an experience).
To fully appreciate the experience this one possible answer points to,
you first have to look and see if you're willing to examine the "I /
me" which seems to be central to our experiencing whatever
we're experiencing. Furthermore, consider that this one possible answer
isn't valuable when it's vocal - in other words, it's an
answer that's of only minor value when you tell me about it: rather
it's an answer that's of major value when you experience it for
yourself. See if you can come from your experience of
it rather than intellectualize it. Coming from your experience of what
this answer points to, will give you access to something truly
To get this one possible answer as an experience, you have to see if
you're willing to let go of "I / me" as the one having the experience.
Simply put, you have to see if you can let go of "I'm the experiencer"
(don't worry: it will be there exactly where you left it if you want to
pick it up again later). You have to be willing to examine whether or
not "I / me" is necessary to experience something. And even if "I / me"
is there during an experience, ask yourself this: is it
really what's experiencing?
This begs the question ie it brings into sharp focus whether or not
it's even possible to have an experience, any experience
when "I / me" is not involved (clearly this is a
conversation) - or, asked with a subtly new emphasis, what's the
possibility of there being experiencing when no "I / me" is involved?
Is it possible?
Cut to the chase: yes it's possible, a breakthrough in fact. See if you
can get from "I'm the experiencer" (in which I / me is involved) to
"There is experiencing" (in which no "I / me" is
involved). See if you can get from "I'm the experiencer of
/ "I'm experiencing
to "There is experiencing
I'm asserting that one powerful possible answer to the question "Who am
I really?" requires a sea change from "I'm the
experiencer" (conceptual, intellectual) to "There is experiencing"
(profound, transformational). Then, one possible answer to "Who am I
really?" is "The experiencing" or
(in all three, "I / me" is neither involved nor, if you tell the truth
is "I / me" even required). So interimly, one possible answer to "Who
am I?", is the self-referential "I / me" (clearly "I / me" is
involved), and ultimately the answer to "Who am I really?" might be
(no "I / me" is involved).